The following standards have been extracted for purposes of inquiry into university infrastructures, which often affect campus climates and achievement of diversity-related accreditation criteria. The information extracted was carefully considered in terms of meeting accountability, resource allocation and impact on community behaviors and perceptions of campus success.

Viewfinder™ Campus Climate Surveys capture the essence of these standards through strategic inquiry to students, faculty, staff and administrators. Use of our surveys will help provide a more accurate snapshot of current campus climate conditions, and will illuminate and link infrastructures to policy and practice underpinnings that affect an institution’s ability to warm its climate from its present state.

You are encouraged to browse the information below as well as view our Viewfinder™ survey sample questions to experience how these standards are presented via our survey inquiry.

(Diversity-related language is highlighted in orange)

Standard: Institutional Mission (Regents Rules, §4-1.4(a))

The institution shall have a clear statement of purpose, mission, and goals that shall be reflected in the policies, practices, and outcomes of the institution. The statement of mission may include but need not be limited to: the academic purposes of the institution and the institution’s commitment to the [diverse] social and economic context in which the institution operates; the relative roles of teaching, creation and preservation of knowledge, and service; the nature of constituents to be served; and the basis for setting priorities.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● Institutional mission and goals are clearly stated in the catalog and otherpublications.
● The mission statement does not conflict with the institution’s charter or authorizations granted by the Regents.
● Institutional [Diversity] goals, objectives, policies, practices, and programs reflect and implement the mission.
● Members of the institutional community (trustees, administration, faculty, students) are knowledgeable about the institution’s [diversity] mission.
● Institutional and student [diversity] outcomes are consistent with the institutional mission and goals.
● The institution has a plan and program to assess the effectiveness with which its units and services contribute to the consistent implementation of its [diversity] mission and goals. 

Standard: Assessment of Student Achievement (Regents Rules, §4-1.4(b))

(1) The institution shall prepare and implement a plan for the systematic assessment of its effectiveness in promoting the quality of student achievement and development.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● The institution has a comprehensive plan and program to assess its effectiveness in promoting the quality of [diverse] student achievement and development on a scheduled, periodic basis and has implemented the plan.

The institution’s plan to assess its effectiveness includes assessment of the outcomes of its educational programs and services and specifically includes student persistence and graduation rates, licensing examination results and job placement rates as applicable to the fields and programs of study, and the institutional policies and practices contributing (or not contributing) to these outcomes.

(2) The institution shall annually submit to the department:

(ii) additional specified reports, including data related to graduation rates, State licensing examination results, job placement rates, and other evidence of the quality of student achievement;

(iv) record of student complaints and their outcomes; and

(v) other information pertaining to an institution’s compliance with the standards prescribed in this Subpart, as determined by the department.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● Annual reports are accurate, complete, and timely.

(i) Graduation rates. (Note: State graduation rate data is available at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/oris/gradrates/.)

(a) Associate degrees. If, in the judgement of the commissioner, there is a sufficient cohort of students, based on the most recent data submitted to the department, an institution awarding associate degrees that reports an associate degree completion rate more than five percentage points below the mean associate degree completion rate reported by all institutions in the State, according to the most recent information available to the department, shall prepare and submit a plan to improve student achievement as measured by graduation rates. Such plan shall include but need not be limited to: strategies and timelines to achieve a completion rate not lower than five percentage points below the mean. Such plan shall be submitted to, and subject to approval by, the commissioner.

(b) Baccalaureate degrees. If, in the judgement of the commissioner, there is a sufficient cohort of students, based on the most recent data submitted to the department, an institution awarding baccalaureate degrees that reports a baccalaureate degree completion rate more than five percentage points below the mean baccalaureate degree completion rate reported by all institutions in the State, according to the most recent information available to the department, shall prepare and submit a plan to improve student achievement as measured by graduation rates. Such plan shall include but need not be limited to: strategies and timelines to achieve a completion rate not lower than five percentage points below the mean. Such plan shall be submitted to, and subject to approval by, the commissioner.

(ii) Job placement rates.

(a) Two-year colleges. If, in the judgement of the commissioner, there is a sufficient cohort of students, based on the most recent data submitted to the department, an institution whose mission includes the preparation of students for employment and that offers no programs beyond the associate degree that reports job placement rates, including placement in civilian and military occupations, more than five percentage points below the mean reported by all institutions in the State offering programs no higher than the associate degree level, according to the most recent information available to the department, shall prepare and submit a plan to improve student achievement as measured by job placement rates. Such plan shall include but need not be limited to: strategies and timelines to achieve a job placement rate not lower than five percentage points below the mean. Such plan shall be submitted to, and subject to approval by, the commissioner.

(b) Four-year colleges. If, in the judgement of the commissioner, there is a sufficient cohort of students, based on the most recent data submitted to the department, an institution whose mission includes the preparation of students for employment and that offers programs at and above the baccalaureate degree that reports job placement rates, including civilian and military occupations, below 80 percent, shall prepare and submit a plan to improve student achievement as measured by job placement rates. Such plan shall include but need not be limited to: strategies and timelines to achieve at least an 80 percent job placement rate. Such plan shall be submitted to, and subject to approval by, the commissioner.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
Provision of a satisfactory plan to address any shortfalls in the designated performance measures.

Standard: Programs of Study (Regents Rules, §4-1.4(c))

(1) Integrity of credit.

(ii) Credit toward an undergraduate degree shall be earned only for college-level work. Credit toward a graduate degree shall be earned only through work designed expressly for graduate students. Enrollment of secondary school students in undergraduate courses, of undergraduates in graduate courses, and of graduate students in undergraduate courses shall be [equitably and] strictly controlled by the institution.

(iii) Institutions must also use processes that protect student privacy and notify students [using relevant methodologies] of any projected additional student charges associated with the verification of student identity at the time of registration or enrollment.

(v) The institution shall assure that credit is granted [without bias] only to students who have achieved the stated objectives of each credit-bearing learning activity.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● Remedial course work is not credit bearing.
● Coursework for undergraduate credit is college level.
● Course enrollment is strictly controlled by the institution according to level; appropriate prerequisite knowledge is required.
● Credit is granted only for courses that count toward some degree offered by the institution, at least as an elective.
● Credit is granted only for achievement of objectives of all credit-bearing activities; grades and credit are commensurate with demonstrated student attainment of course objectives.
● The length of instructional time and hours of supplementary assignments meet the requirements set forth in §4-1.2(v).
● Registrar audits of program progress and completion are consistent with published requirements for curricula and degrees completion.
● Distance learning courses and programs are expected to produce the same learning outcomes as comparable classroom-based programs.
● The policies and procedures for the verification of student identity in distance education courses are adequate and effective.
● The processes used protect student privacy are judged to be effective and adequate.
● Charges associated with the verification of student identity are clearly identified in publications and presented to students at the time of registration or enrollment.

(2) Programs of study goals and objectives.

(i) The goals and the objectives of each program of study and the competencies expected of students completing the program shall be clearly defined in writing.

(ii) Each program of study shall show evidence of careful planning [for contemporary relevance]. The content and duration of programs of study shall be designed to implement their purposes.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
The curriculum design is coherent, implements the philosophy and purposes of the program, and is aligned with the educational objectives of the program. Learning experiences and methods of instruction are consistent with the purposes and objectives of the program.

● Curriculum content proceeds from introductory level to advanced in logical sequence with appropriate breadth, depth, and currency.
● Course outlines/syllabi are clear and comprehensive and include: course objectives; prerequisites; credits allocated; course content and assignments; testing methods; method of assessing student achievement; basis of grade; and bibliographic and other resources related to course; and other course policies.
● There is a record of ongoing and formal periodic review of curricular design, content, and effectiveness in implementing stated purposes, consistent with institutional mission and objectives.
● The same academic standards and requirements are applied to programs offered on campus and through distance learning.

(3) Assessment of success in achieving the goals and objectives. There shall be a written plan to assess, no less than every five years, the effectiveness of faculty and students in achieving goals and objectives and to promote improvement. Such assessment shall include systematic collection, review and use of quantitative and qualitative information about programs of study, including information that directly addresses learning outcomes, and shall document actions taken to improve student learning and development.

Examples of Compliance: Bases of inquiry
● Existence of the required plan.

Standard: Faculty (Regents Rules, §4-1.4(d))

(1) Competence and credentials.

(i) In support of the mission of the institution, all members of the faculty shall have demonstrated by training, earned degrees, scholarship, experience, and by classroom performance or other evidence of teaching potential, their competence to offer the courses and discharge the other academic responsibilities which are assigned to them.

(ii) Faculty members who teach in a program leading to a certificate or undergraduate degree shall hold at least a master’s degree in the field in which they teach or a related field, or shall be actively pursuing graduate study in such field or a related field, or shall have demonstrated, in other widely recognized ways, such as completion of relevant education, training and/or experience, their competence in the field in which they teach.

(iv) All faculty members who teach within a program of study leading to a graduate degree shall possess earned doctorates or other terminal degrees in the field in which they are teaching or shall have demonstrated, in other widely recognized ways, their special competence in the field in which they direct graduate students. Upon request, institutions shall provide documentation to the commissioner confirming that the faculty members who do not hold such doctorate or terminal degrees have demonstrated special competence in the field in which they direct students.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● Faculty have the documented expertise, including the advanced study and licensure appropriate to the field, to teach each course to which they are assigned and conduct other faculty responsibilities set forth in this Section.
●  Faculty members teaching at the certificate, associate degree, and baccalaureate degree levels hold at least a master’s degree in an appropriate field or are actively pursuing graduate study and have the necessary background for in-depth teaching, curriculum development, and program evaluation responsibilities. A minimum of one faculty member teaching in each curriculum at the baccalaureate level holds an earned doctorate.
● Faculty members teaching at the graduate level hold earned doctorates or other terminal degrees in their specialty areas. Any faculty members teaching at the graduate level who do not hold an earned doctorate or other terminal degree have significant, widely recognized special competence in the field in which they teach graduate students as demonstrated by such means as publication record.
● The faculty have college teaching and administrative experience appropriate to their assignments.
● If the institution offers distance education courses or programs, the institution recognizes that teaching in the distance learning environment requires different pedagogical and communication strategies to function effectively.

(2) Adequacy to support programs and services.

(i) The faculty shall be sufficient in number to assure breadth and depth of instruction and the proper discharge of all other faculty responsibilities.

(ii) To foster and maintain continuity and stability in academic programs and policies, there shall be in the institution a sufficient number of faculty members who serve full-time at the institution.

(iii) For each program of study the institution shall designate a [diverse] body of faculty who, with the academic officers of the institution, shall be responsible for setting curricular objectives, for determining the means by which achievement of objectives is measured, for evaluating the achievement of curricular objectives, and for providing academic advice to students.

(iv) The ratio of [diverse] faculty to students in each course shall be sufficient to assure effective instruction.

Examples of Compliance:
● The faculty clearly are [equally] responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of curricular design, for ongoing quality assurance, and advising.
● The number of full-and part-time faculty members is sufficient to assure the consistent attainment of institutional and program objectives with respect to breadth and depth of instruction, timely offering of all courses needed to complete each program, and effective conduct of other academic responsibilities.
● There is a sufficient and appropriate number of ongoing full-time [diverse] faculty members to assure continuity of leadership and stability in all academic programs, including the development, implementation and evaluation of curricular design, ongoing quality assurance, and advising in all program areas. Any exception to the maintenance of a well-qualified core of ongoing full-time faculty in each program area is thoroughly documented in terms of high qualitative learning outcomes for students as well as the unique nature of the field.
● Class size and the methods of instruction are consistently conducive to effective learning. The size of each class is such as to assure prompt, continual, and substantive feedback on student performance during the course and to assure ongoing faculty accessibility to students in the course.
● Class size is such that the instructor, or a well-qualified member of the instructional team for the course, has a good working knowledge of each student’s strengths and weaknesses in the course and interacts with the student to strengthen performance. Remedial classes have enrollments consistent with intensive, individualized teaching; they are consistently less than 20.
● Course evaluations by students and peers assess whether class size and methods of instruction are conducive to effective learning.

(3) Evaluation and professional responsibilities.

(i) The teaching and research of each faculty member, in accordance with the faculty member’s responsibilities, shall be evaluated periodically by the institution. Members of the instructional staff new to the institution shall receive special supervision [or mentoring] during the initial period of appointment.

(ii) The institution shall ensure that each member of the faculty is allowed adequate [individualized] time, in accordance with the faculty member’s responsibilities, to broaden professional knowledge, prepare course materials, advise students, direct independent study and research, supervise teaching, participate in institutional governance and carry out other academic responsibilities appropriate to his or her position, in addition to performing assigned teaching and administrative duties.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● Institutional policy provides for evaluation of faculty members according to an established schedule and procedure; faculty folders reflect adherence to stated policy.
● Orientation and supervision of inexperienced faculty members are carried on during the initial period of appointment; other faculty are evaluated periodically with respect to their teaching and other responsibilities.
● The institution has written policies regarding release time and other support for faculty members pursuing activities which contribute to their professional knowledge and implements them consistently and evenhandedly.
● Faculty workloads are consistent with the skill levels of students and their needs for instructional support, feedback and individual mentoring.
● Faculty workloads permit sufficient time for participation in academic governance, advising, professional development and other designated responsibilities.
● Faculty workloads provide sufficient time for course preparations and for frequent and careful assessments of students’ progress, including the development of writing and analytical skills.
● Assignment of maximum faculty teaching loads is consistent with the assessed quality of teaching and with high qualitative learning outcomes for students. Total teaching loads, including overload assignments, take into account the effect of class size and total student load on quality of instruction. Normally, full-time faculty have a teaching load of no more than three separate course preparations.
● The institution has developed and implemented a process for sustaining faculty professional development in distance learning.

Standard: Resources (Regents Rules, §4-1.4(e))

(1) Facilities, equipment, and supplies.

(ii) The institution shall [equitably] provide equipment sufficient in quantity and quality to support administration, instruction, research, and student performance.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry

● Facilities include an adequate number of well-equipped class, conference, and multimedia/computer rooms, and laboratories, as appropriate to the curricula offered.
● Adequate maintenance and repair of equipment and supplies.
● Adequate faculty office space for meetings with students and course preparations.
● Adequate space and equipment for academic support services and administrative services.
● Compliance with the New York State Uniform Fire Code, or with a local fire code that supersedes it, with applicable local health and sanitation codes, and other licensing requirements.
● Provision of computers and other teaching aids sufficient in number, kind and condition to meet institutional and course objectives.
● There is adequate provision for accessibility by all students.
● The institution has committed sufficient resources to its distance learning programs and services to ensure their effectiveness.
● The institution has in place a comprehensive, viable technology plan for distance learning.

(2) Library and information resources.

(i) The institution shall provide libraries that possess, maintain, and provide [unbiased and equitable] access to print and non-print collections and technology sufficient in depth and breadth to support the mission of the institution and each program of study.

(ii) Libraries shall be administered by professionally trained staff supported by sufficient personnel. Library services and resources shall be available for student and faculty use with sufficient regularity and at appropriate hours and shall support the mission of the institution and its programs of study.

(iii) The institution shall ensure that all students receive instruction in information literacy.

Examples of Compliance:
● The library collection contains print materials, including monographs and serials, and non-print media adequate in breadth and depth to support the institution’s [diversity] mission and curricula, in addition to full-text data bases.
● Professional library staff have master’s degrees from accredited library schools.
● Faculty and library staff have mechanisms to collaborate to ensure the adequacy of library resources for academic programs.
● Faculty and students have ready access to the circulation, reference, and reserve collections.
● Professional and support staff are sufficient in number to provide instruction and other services to students and to engage in collection development.
● Library services such as orientation, computer search, and duplicating equipment are [equally] available to faculty and students.
● Library seating capacity and hours are adequate to meet the needs of students and faculty.
● Students consistently attain [measureable] information literacy skills through their use of library resources.
● The institution provides adequate library and information resources, services and support for academic programs, including training on information literacy. These resources and services are accessible at a distance on a timely basis.

(3) Fiscal capacity.

The institution shall possess the financial resources necessary for the consistent and successful accomplishment of its [diversity] mission and objectives at the institutional, program and course levels.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● The institution demonstrates an acceptable score on the Federal Test of Financial Responsibility and meets all other federal criteria for determining if the institution may participate in the Title IV student aid programs.
● The institution’s certified audits and other data indicate ongoing capacity to carry out its educational mission effectively and in compliance with these accreditation standards.

Suggested Documentation:
– Institutional budget for the current year; monthly cash flow for the 12 months preceding provision of the self-study.
– Certified financial audits for the three most recent fiscal years.
– Documentation of expenditures supporting the institution’s mission, goals, and objectives.

Standard: Administration (Regents Rules, §4-1.4(f))

(1) Responsibilities.

(i) Responsibility for the administration of institutional policies and programs shall be clearly established.

(ii) Within the authority of its governing entity, the institution shall provide that overall educational policy and its implementation are the responsibility of the institution’s faculty and academic officers. Other appropriate segments of the institutional community may share in this responsibility in accordance with the norms developed by each institution.

(iii) Academic policies applicable to each course, including learning objectives and methods of assessing student achievement, shall be made explicit by the instructor at the beginning of each term.

(iv) The institution shall provide academic advice to students through faculty or appropriately qualified persons. The institution shall assure that students are informed at stated intervals of their progress and remaining obligations in the completion of the program.

(v) The institution shall maintain for each student a permanent, complete, accurate, and up-to-date transcript of student achievement at the institution. This document will be the official cumulative record of the student’s cumulative achievement. Copies shall be made available at the student’s request, in accordance with the institution’s stated policies, or to agencies or individuals authorized by law to review such records.

(vi) The institution shall not be in violation of State and/or Federal statute, where such violation demonstrates incompetence and/or fraud in the management of the institution in the judgement of the commissioner.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● Responsibilities for all institutional functions and services are clearly established and known to all affected constituencies through publication and timely notice.
● Communication channels are clearly established and follow established organizational structure in educational governance and administrative services; communication is open.
● Institutional organization and services, and the institution’s program for assessing institutional functioning, are effectively focused on maximizing the quality of student achievement and development.
● Faculty and academic officers are actively engaged in and responsible for the setting of curricular and academic standards.
● Students, advisory committee members, and other representatives of the college community have an opportunity to share in the responsibility of educational governance.
● Academic policies are made explicit by instructors at the beginning of each course.
● A course outline has been developed for each course that includes learning objectives; prerequisites; credits allocated; methods of instruction; course content and assignments; means of assessing student achievement; basis of grades; bibliographic and other resources related to course; and other course policies.
● Students are formally informed of their progress, including all grades and cumulative grade point average, throughout each term.
● Faculty and other staff with advisement responsibilities are regularly and conveniently available to students for academic and career planning advisement.
● Copies of cumulative transcripts and assessments of remaining academic requirements and other obligations are available to students on request.
● Transcripts are kept current and accurately reflect student achievement; they include a key to the meaning of symbols, abbreviations, calculations; there are satisfactory provisions for security.
● The institution has and adheres to procedures and criteria for entries on and changes to academic transcripts.
● Courses taken at other colleges and accepted for credit are included on the transcript.
● Transcripts clearly differentiate between credit and non-credit courses.
● Transcripts include term and cumulative grade point averages.
● Policies on recording of grades, including those for repeated courses, changes in grades, and other aspects of recording and calculating student attainment adhere to sound, widely accepted professional practices.
● The institution has clearly identified a single office or officer with responsibility for assuring the quality of all distance education across the institution.
● The institution ensures the administration of its distance learning programs by knowledgeable personnel with adequate time and resources to accomplish this task.

(2) Published policies.

The institution shall establish, publish and enforce explicit policies with respect to:

(i) academic freedom;

(ii) the rights and privileges of full-time and part-time faculty and other staff members, working conditions, opportunity for professional development, workload, appointment and reappointment, affirmative action, evaluation of teaching and research, termination of appointment, redress of grievances and faculty responsibility to the institution; and

(iii) requirements for admission of students to the institution and to specific programs of study, requirements for residence, graduation, awarding of credit, degrees or other credentials, grading, standards of progress, payment of fees of any nature, refunds, withdrawals, standards of conduct, disciplinary measures and redress of grievances.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● Clear and reasonable policies are published and in effect for each of the above items; policies are consistent with applicable governmental requirements; policies meet widely accepted professional expectations of “even-handedness” and “fairness.”

Standard: Support Services (Regents Rules, §4-1.4(g))

(1) The institution shall assure that whenever and wherever the institution offers courses as part of a program of study it shall provide adequate support services, taking into account its mission and the needs of its students.

(2) Institutions that admit students with academic deficiencies shall provide sufficient supplemental academic services to enable them to make satisfactory progress toward program completion.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● The institution adequately assesses the skill levels of all entering degree students and addresses any needs for the development of college-level skills, including the areas of writing, literacy, computing, time management, and analytical thinking, that are consistent with the institution’s educational mission.
● The institution provides the academic and other support services, including but not limited to tutoring and personal and career counseling, that students may need to succeed in the programs to which they have been admitted.
● The institution provides adequate advising and program planning services to support its academic programs.
● The institution has procedures to assess the effectiveness of its support services in meeting students’ needs.
● If the institution admits English language learners, it provides adequate instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL) to enable such students to undertake college level study in English.
● The institution provides physical resources commensurate with the scope and fields of instruction and learning needs of the students.
● The institution provides distance learners with adequate academic support, including academic advisement, technical support, and other student support services normally available on campus.

Standard: Admissions (Regents Rules, §4-1.4(h))

(1) The admission of students shall be determined through an orderly [and equitable] process using published criteria consistent with the institution’s mission that shall be uniformly applied.

(2) Admissions shall take into account both the capacity of the student to undertake a course of study and the capacity of the institution to provide the instructional and other support the student needs to complete the program.

(3) Among other considerations and consistent with its mission, the institution shall take measures to increase enrollment in academic programs at all degree levels by persons from groups historically underrepresented in such programs.

(4) An institution shall not refuse a student’s request for transfer of credit based solely upon the source of accreditation of the sending institution, where the sending institution is institutionally accredited for title IV purposes by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education for such purposes.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● Admissions criteria are fully and accurately described in the catalog and other admissions literature.
● The institution adheres to published admission criteria and policies for admitting only those students capable of completing the course of study to which they apply, given the instructional and other support it provides.
● The institution effectively places all admitted students in courses and services consistent with their assessed skill and knowledge.
● The institution identifies groups historically underrepresented in college programs and encourages the enrollment of students from those groups.
● The institution identifies any special educational needs of students, including students with disabilities, and makes appropriate provisions for meeting those needs.
● Availability of documentation that remediation, other college skills, and developmental programs are effective.
● Social, psychological, health, financial, and academic counseling services are available to students and are effective.
● The admissions and registration processes are readily accessible to distance students, and materials clearly describe how access is obtained.

Standard: Consumer Information (Regents Rules, §4-1.4(i))

(1) The following information shall be included in all catalogs of the institution:

(i) Information shall be provided on financial assistance available to students, costs of attending the institution, the refund policy of the institution, and the instructional programs and other related aspects of the institution. Information shall include programs of financial assistance from State, Federal, institutional and other sources. Information on the institution’s standards of progress shall be disclosed, if different from those utilized for State student financial aid programs.

(ii) Cost of attending the institution for each of the cost categories listed below shall be provided. Estimates, so indicated, may be used where exact figures are unavailable or inappropriate. Where summary information is provided, an institutional office where detailed information can be obtained shall be identified.

(a) Tuition and fees. Information shall be provided on all assessments against students for direct educational and general purposes. A brief description of the purpose of any mandatory fee shall be included if the purpose of such fee is not apparent from its name. Course fees and lab fees shall be clearly identified. Conditions under which nonmandatory fees need not be paid shall be clearly stated.

(b) Books and supplies. Estimated costs of textbooks, books, manuals, consumable supplies and equipment, which a student should possess as a necessary corollary to instruction, shall be provided. Separate estimates shall be provided for major program categories for which such costs vary more than 25 percent from the average for the entire institution.

(c) Room and board. Costs of housing and food services operated by the institution shall be provided where such services are available. Estimated costs of similar accommodations available in the community shall also be provided. These figures shall be consistent with estimated student budgets prepared by the institution’s financial aid office.

(d) Other living expenses. Estimated cost of personal expenses applicable to students devoting primary efforts to pursuit of educational objectives shall be provided. This estimate shall be consistent with similar figures defined by the institution’s financial aid office.

Examples of Compliance:
● Tuition and mandatory course and laboratory fees are clearly identified [in publications to underrepresented groups] Conditions under which non-mandatory fees need not be paid are clearly stated.
● Estimated costs of textbooks, manuals, consumable supplies and equipment that a student should possess are provided.
● Costs of housing and food services operated by the institution are provided.
● Estimated costs of similar accommodations available in the community are also provided.
● Estimated cost of personal expenses applicable to [diverse] students devoting primary efforts to pursuit of educational objectives is provided.

(iv) The instructional programs of the institution shall be described accurately.

(e) Faculty and other instructional personnel. Regular resident faculty shall be listed by [ethnicity] rank, with the highest degree held by the faculty member and the institution by which such degree was granted, full-time or part-time status, and department or major program area to which such member is assigned. An estimated number of adjunct faculty and teaching assistants in each department or major program area shall be provided.

(f) Recruiting and admission practices. The process and criteria for the recruitment and admission of students to the institution and to specific programs of study, as required by subparagraph (f) (2) (iii) of this section and by subdivision (h) of this section, shall be published.

(i) Grading. The grading policy of the institution, and of specific programs of study, if different, shall be published.

(j) Student retention and graduation. Information on student retention and graduation rates shall be provided based on a summary of the most recent cohort survival statistics (e.g., percentages of those students enrolled at the end of the spring term, percentages of freshman classes that graduate in four, five and six years) available to the institution for at least full-time undergraduates. Statistics shall be computed in a manner consistent with data reported to the department through its higher education data system.

(k) Outcomes for former students. Summaries of [diverse student] employment outcomes, advanced study, and student professional and occupational licensing examination results compiled by or provided to the institution shall be provided. The student cohort year or years, or date of examinations shall be included. Data displays on employment outcomes shall be by major or discrete curricular area.

(3) The institution shall demonstrate that it continuously assesses the effectiveness of its efforts to provide [diverse] students and prospective students with timely, accurate, and complete consumer information.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● Programs are accurately listed according to title, degree, and HEGIS code.
● Programs are described in terms of both prerequisites and requirements for completion.
● The academic year in which each course is expected to be taught is included.
● Instructional, laboratory, and other facilities directly related to the academic program are described.
● Information about hours of operation of the institution’s services, including the library and food services, is provided.
● Faculty are listed by rank, indicating the highest degree held by each faculty member, the institution which granted the highest degree, and the program area to which the faculty member is assigned.
● An estimated number of adjunct faculty and teaching assistants in each department or major program is provided.
● Admissions criteria and procedures are fully described in the institution’s catalogs.
● The academic calendar is published in the catalog.
● The institution’s academic policies including its grading policies are published.
● Information on graduation rates and retention is provided.
● Summaries of job placement statistics and information on other activities of former students compiled by the institution are available.
● Distance education courses and programs are clearly and accurately represented in written and other materials, and include the nature of the learning experience, program and faculty responsibilities, the nature of interaction opportunities, techniques and requirements.
● Materials describing distance education courses and programs define any specific student background, knowledge, and/or technical skills needed to undertake and successfully complete distance education courses and/or programs, and list required and recommended technical equipment and software.
● The institution’s transfer of credit policy lists the criteria for awarding credit earned at another institution.
● The institution maintains a publicly accessible list of other institutions with which articulation agreements have been established.

(4) Advertising.

(i) Advertising conducted by or on behalf of an institution shall not be false, misleading, deceptive, or fraudulent and shall be consistent with the provisions of article 22-A of the General Business Law. Advertising and promotional material shall not leave false, misleading, or exaggerated impressions of the institution, its personnel, its facilities, its courses and services, or the occupational opportunities of its graduates.

(ii) The primary emphasis of all advertisements and promotional literature shall be the educational services offered by the institution. Such advertising and promotional literature shall clearly indicate that education, not employment, is being offered by the institution.

(iii) Statements and representations in all forms of advertising and promotion shall be clear, current, and accurate. To the extent that statements of facts are made, such statements shall be restricted to facts that can be substantiated. Materials to support statements and representations in advertising and promotion shall be kept on file and shall be available for review by the department.

(iv) Any endorsement or recommendation shall include the author’s identity and qualifications and shall be used only with the author’s consent. No remuneration of any kind for any such endorsement or recommendation shall be paid for such endorsement or recommendation.

(v) References to the New York State Board of Regents in any advertisement or promotional literature shall comply with the requirements of section 13.11 of this Title and subdivision (m) of this section.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● Students are recruited based on factual and accurate information about the institution.
● Financial aid is not the sole enrollment incentive used to recruit students, and aid available only at the institution is distinguished from aid available at most institutions.
● When recruiting students, representatives of the institution state clearly their credentials, purpose, and position or affiliation with the institution; such recruiters are either volunteers or paid employees of the institution and are not paid on the basis of numbers of students recruited.
● All advertisements, promotional literature and recruitment activities focus primarily on the educational services offered by the institution.
● The institution accurately characterizes its recognition by the New York State

Standard: Student Complaints (Regents Rules, §4-1.4(j))

(1) The institution shall establish, publish, and consistently administer internal procedures to receive, investigate, and resolve student complaints related to the standards prescribed in this Subpart.

(2) The institution may have informal means by which students can seek redress of their complaints.

(3) The institution shall have a formal complaint procedure that shall include, but need not be limited to: steps a student may take to file a formal complaint; reasonable and appropriate time frames for investigating and resolving a formal complaint; provision for the final determination of each formal complaint to be made by a person or persons not directly involved in the alleged problem; and assurances that no action will be taken against the student for filing the complaint.

(4) The institution shall maintain adequate documentation about each formal complaint and its disposition for a period of at least six years after final disposition of the complaint. Assessment of the disposition and outcomes of complaints shall be a required component of any self-study required by this Subpart and shall be a consideration in any review for accreditation or renewal of accreditation.

Examples of Compliance: Bases for inquiry
● The institution has formal procedures for students to file complaints and seek redress of grievances consistent [for all] with the requirements of this section. The procedures protect the rights of the student and provide for a fair hearing with adequate assurance that no action will be taken against the student for filing the complaint.
● The institution maintains adequate documentation of its handling of all formal complaints for at least six years after the final disposition of the complaint.

For more information, visit: http://ohe32.nysed.gov/ocue/accred/documents/HandbookFeb2016update.pdf